The Four Lands Of Arravan: Birthright

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Chapter Twelve: Leap Of Faith

Gliding through the portal, slight trickles of water fell over their bodies as they passed through almost as if passing through the mist of a waterfall.

The boat sailed up a wave that blocked their view of the horizon, but as it levelled out once more they came face-to-face with a twisting sheet of a thick entanglement of seaweed.

Their boat dinked against the pile that blocked their path to the portals.

Even with his keen eyes, Kaydence make out whether it was a singular large creature or multiple smaller one’s that slid from beyond the third realms gateway, floating along the rippling tide to join the rest.

“Isn’t that the third realm that one just came out of?” Kaydence asked obviously.

“It is” Ida responded, distaste and bitterness cold on her tongue.

Evan seemed scared, one could see it in his eyes, a fear they all surely felt in their chest and no doubt showed too and it wasn’t uncalled for.

Despite the danger being a plant, the risk was extreme and could well result in a painful death.

“At least we know where those things are coming from now” Evan stated.

“Mother, what Is it you wish to do?” Erabos asked but wasn’t given a response he wanted, nor from the person, he directed his words to.

Kaydence was the one to reply “It isn’t up to her, we have found the source of the problem so now, we figure out how to fix it. You three can stay here if you want, I know how Ida feels about getting involved without mortal business. Even if your mother refuses to speak the third realms name and makes it seem so mysterious and dangerous, I am going in because for me there’s no other choice. However, if I go and you remain here I want Acuere back in my possession, I am not going without a weapon and if you are not willing to go the entire way then it serves no purpose to you”

“Acuere is mine. And whatever it is producing those creatures cannot be good, we are better off figuring out a way to remove the Lamia Rose” Ida retaliated clutching the sheathed blade a little closer to herself.

“We have tried that already, it is no use but you are welcome to try and waste your own time and resources. All the while these creatures grow in numbers and Arravan starves and perishes from drought. You might as well face the fact that we need to go through that portal, with your help we can be in and out faster” he said.

“None of you understand what could reside in that realm. It has been closed off since the First War, not a soul has laid eyes on it”

“Then it’s about time we paid it a visit” Kaydence sassed staring her directly in the eyes smugly.

“You are being arrogant, like your father. You fail to see the full picture” she stated, she too radiating spite.

Narrowing his eyes and clenching his fists Kaydence snapped back at her statement “No Ida, it’s you that can’t see the whole picture unless it includes you. We will go in there and save Arravan, it will accomplish nothing trying to move a rock that hasn’t budged up until now. We can try to find a solution for it but it could take months, who knows maybe even a year and by that time, half of the population could be dead. So which solution is really painting the full picture?”

“Both of you, that is enough” Fraya announced, stepping in, something she didn’t usually find herself doing.

“Guys!” Mayfel called out, his finger pointed to the seaweed clustered water.

Floating to the surface, came a birch leaf that Evan and Fraya terrifyingly recognised.

Shortly after the first one emerged, more followed, they were an array of different sized as if in a different stage of growth,

Some looked as though they belonged to a range of both ocean and land fauna whereas others seemed to have come from the deeper depths with their sickly lack of colour.

They surrounded the boat and it wasn’t long before a scraping sound began edging up the wooden sides, the noise engulfed them, as did the slithering, slimy tendrils hideously adorned with talons and pulsating suckers.

The extremities felt their way blindly into the boat where they squired around as if searching for something to grasp.

“We need to run,” Kaydence said, his voice hushed despite the creatures probably not having the ability to hear.

“Where do you plan on running? We’re in the ocean” Mayfel snapped as he became frustrated and scared.

“Over the seaweed” he stated as he lifted his feet onto his seat to avoid the seaweed sweeping along the bottom of the boat. “It looks like it could hold out weight if we’re quick. We’ll head for the portal”

The looks he received were all the same, disbelief and I will slap those stupid ideas out of your mind.

Nevertheless, as the tentacle evacuated the boat, Kaydence saw it as an opportunity for them to do the same.

“Evan, Fraya, you go first,” he said standing unbalanced in the swaying vessel.

“You’re kidding yourself if you think I am going first” Fraya spat, Evan nodding his head enthusiastically.

“Mayfel will go with you as well”

“Kaydence, are you trying to kill us?” Mayfel said baffled.

“No, and they should know that you are the last person I’d be willing to risk losing.”

Seeing his thought process, Mayfel agreed standing up from his seat and looking to the clump of seaweed knocking against the boat's side.

Offering his hand, to which Mayfel accepted, Kaydence helped him along with Fraya and Evan out onto the platform.

They took their time to steady themselves before carefully stepping one foot at a time towards the portal.

Kaydence turned to Ida, she was yet to make a move to exit the boat but Erabos and Xenia by her side seemed less hesitant to escape the ropey clutches.

Giving a sideways nod to the snake-eyed man and Xenia next to him, a look of discernment in his eyes knowing what was holding them back.

Erabos broke away form his post, Xenia following suit behind him as they made a run for it, leaping over the side onto the moving platform they carefully proceeded towards the Mayfel, Fraya and Evan who awaited them at the portals edge.

Boards of the boat began to creak and splinter, more vines had encompassed it and were gradually tightening their grip on it.

“There’s only one choice” Kaydence stated.

He wasn’t budging until he saw her off of the boat with Acuere.

However, the gleam of trouble in her eyes as she cast Acuere down to the water-logged boards before she hopped out taking up a sprinting pace across the mounds of green strands with gracious feet.

A seaweed stand had began to wrap itself around the sheath, the pointed claws slipping against the blades smooth surface as the suckers latched on raising it from the floor.

Kaydences fingers were grazing over the hilt, his palm almost closing in on it as he attempted to avoid the talons when the floor beneath him cracked and shattered.

He lost his footing on the new uneven boards, one of his feet sinking into the cool open water beneath him.

Mayfel was already running towards him, bow in hand and arrow nocked aiming and firing at the creatures so-called head, although it was unclear which creature the tentacle belonged to.

Scrambling to regain ground, Kaydence grasped at a nearby clump of slimy weed, his hand instantly slipping sending his body jolting backwards.

If it weren’t for Mayfel’s hand latching onto the front of his shirt, Kaydence would have fallen into the gloomy abyss, perhaps he would have drowned or found himself in the jaws of an ocean dweller.

Seeing Acuere nearly lost in the encroaching overgrowth, he thrust his hand in amongst it all, grabbing at whatever he could and yanked the weapon free.

His hand around the hilt, the blade now in the open and glinting in the sun, Kaydence and Mayfel watched as the boat completely caved in on itself.

Luckily, by the time it was dragged into the depths, Kaydence was heaved onto dryer land, land that began to shift and wriggle beneath their feet.

With no time for a break, they were running and trying to maintain some small amount of balance as they neared the portal.

The rock formation of the Maria Porta was getting closer, but so was the growing gap between it and them as the green platform began to sink and split apart.

Holes opened up in random spots, some in line with their next step sending them wobbling to the side as they tried to avoid certain death.

Kaydence, feeling the wind brush through his hair from behind came up with a possibly disastrous plan, he trusted his brother's lessons but less so his ability to follow them.

They had no other choice, they were at the end of the road and so Kaydence wrapped an arm around Mayfel’s waist when they reached the edge.

Urging him to jump, they leapt side by side into the air where he splayed his wings open as far as they could possibly go allowing the wind to collect beneath his feathers giving them just enough lift to send them gliding through the portal wall and into the unknown.

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